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10 Best Restaurants In Atlantic City | Where to Eat in America’s Playground

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Atlantic City is located on the shores of New Jersey and is a haven for those looking for relaxation and solace in the sun. 

Since its founding as America’s first beach playground and one of the very few legal gambling destinations, Atlantic City has experienced more booms and busts than most places in the past century. 

This has led to a fascinating food scene in the city, with a mix of old, legendary spots and newer eateries aiming to provide delicious food to a growing variety of tastes and preferences as the city evolves and changes.

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Atlantic City

The following are some of the best restaurants in Atlantic City I’ve dined. Enjoy!

Visiting other destinations in New Jersey? Check out our other delicious guide:

The 10 Best Restaurants In Atlantic City

Knife and Fork Inn

3600 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City // +16093441133

Since its opening in 1912, this seafood and chop house has welcomed Atlantic City visitors with its iconic Tudor facade.

They offer a variety of items on their menu, such as lobster thermidor and steaks with lump crab, béarnaise sauce, and asparagus, as well as a section of their menu dedicated to sustainable seafood. It’s amazing! Trust me!

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Lobster Thermidor

In its original form, the Knife and Fork Inn was an exclusive men’s eating club. The restaurant now opens for dinner seven days a week at 5:00 pm, though the bar opens an hour earlier at 4:00 pm.

Kelsey’s

1545 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City // +16093442200

If you’re in the mood for some good food with a soul, Kelsey’s is the place to go. Kelsey’s is owned and operated by Kelsey and Kimberly Jackson, a husband and wife team in the heart of busy Atlantic City. 

If you’re visiting on Friday or Saturday, be sure to catch one of their live music shows!

Make sure to order their slow-smoked ribs, fried whiting, or their dark meat southern fried chicken and waffle, and order an appetizer portion of shrimp and grits to make sure you don’t miss out!

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Slow-Smoked Ribs

Girasole

3108 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City // +16093455554

The Girasole Italian restaurant in Atlantic City is owned and operated by a family that cares about the quality of the food they serve to their customers.

Girasole owner Gino Iovino opened the venue in 1992, just a block from the Boardwalk, to offer visitors a unique experience different from the crowded, showy casinos located nearby. 

The interior of Girasole is filled with reminders that it means sunflower in Italian. A deep blue and gold dining room sets the tone for the restaurant.

Each dish at Girasole is made from scratch and cooked to order. The chef at Girasole has received several culinary awards for the love and care he puts into each dish. 

The restaurant has more than a dozen kinds of pasta, some of which are made in-house, including hot Italian sausage with broccoli rabe and cannellini beans, calamari baked in tomato sauce, and carpaccios made with filet mignon and yellowfin tuna.

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Pasta

Dock’s Oyster House

2405 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City // +16093450092

With the desire to serve the highest quality seafood in an inviting, comfortable, and clean environment, Harry “Call me Dock” Dougherty opened the Dock’s Oyster House in 1897. 

As soon as he opened the restaurant, it quickly became a local and tourist favorite because of its high standard and because there was no liquor license. Pretty amazing.

As of today, Dock’s Oyster House still blends maritime and upscale dining touches with the classic oyster bar feel that customers have enjoyed for decades, along with all the favorites on the menu.

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Oysters

The chalkboard menu shows the daily specials below a display of chilled lobsters, oysters, clams, and shrimp.

Their menu offers a rotating selection of about a dozen varieties, including Cape May Salts, Brigantine Salts, plump Maryland oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, salty Wellfleets from Cape Cod, and Bluepoints and Barren Island oysters from New York State. Additionally, you can get little neck or top neck clams on the half shell. They are fantastic!

Cafe 2825

2825 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City // +16093446913

Located inside the Tropicana Casino, Cafe 2825 boasts an intimate atmosphere with fourteen white-clothed tables. As well as a full bar, the restaurant offers a wine list that includes both Californian and Italian varietals.

Each dish includes fresh, seasonal ingredients to ensure a high level of quality and stays true to the owners’ Southern Italian and Brooklyn roots.

You can choose from the Sicilian specialties like the Spicy Dark Scungilli (imported conch in a spicy marinara), the weirdly addictive Meatball Salad (red gravy-soaked meatballs on top of greens and ricotta), and the vinegar-marinated Brooklyn Double Cut Pork Chop.

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Brooklyn Double Cut Pork Chop

You can’t experience Cafe 2825 fully if you don’t try the Cacio e Pepe or fresh mozzarella prepared at the table. Trust me.

Atlantic City Bar and Grill

1219 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City // +16093488080

Sporting, spirits, seafood, and steak are on the Atlantic City Bar and Grill menu in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and have become a bit of a city institution. 

Founded over twenty-five years ago as a small pizzeria, the bar and grill is now a favorite among tourists, celebrities, and locals, thanks to the delicious and fresh food they serve. 

I recommend starting with their delicious Fried Calamari, followed by Soft Shell Crabs sauteed in scampi sauce, topped with asparagus and baked potato. Terrific!

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Fried Calamari

They are open seven days a week from 11:00 am until 1:00 am and are a great place to relax and party. Due to the high demand for fresh seafood, their menu changes regularly, ensuring the freshest food.

Pancho’s Mexican Taqueria

2303 Arctic Ave., Atlantic City // +16093442062

One of the best tacos in Atlantic City is served at Pancho’s Mexican Taqueria, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. 

While the décor isn’t that fancy, the quality of the food makes up for it. You’ll find everything from tacos to sopes (fried corn tortillas) and carnitas to burritos, all of which are delicious and generously sized.

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Tacos

Staff members here are no-nonsense and prepare everything from scratch. If you feel adventurous, try the goat and tongue tacos as well. All heavenly handmade tortillas are served with Mexican soda pop: jarritos, beer, and carnitas. The bar is open until midnight serving margaritas and beer. 

Angeline

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City // +16093171000

Aside from being an Iron Chef and James Beard Award winner, Michael Symon is also the co-host of The Chew and the first fully Italian restaurant in the Borgata. 

Symon’s mother, Angeline, is the inspiration behind the restaurant’s name, and its signature dish, lasagna, is made from her recipe. 

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Lasagna

There’s something for everyone on Angeline’s menu, from homemade pasta and arancini to sentimental favorites like chicken Parmesan. They also have an impressive wine list.

Begin with marinated artichokes or arancini, and then try the sharable Sunday supper (available any time), which is straight out of South Philly featuring meatballs, cavatelli, sausage, and peppers.

Amada

Amada Restaurant, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City // +16097838000

Located inside of the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, the Amada restaurant is the most elegant dining experience from Chef Garces. 

A rustic-chic atmosphere complements the tapas-style restaurant’s bar. It is an ideal destination for both a romantic night out and a fun group outing. Amada offers a true taste of the region.

Their menu has a wide variety of options to choose from. My favorite dishes there are the Lobster Paella accompanied by Fava Bean Salad, a smoked paprika aioli, and squid. 

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Lobster Paella

It was fantastic!

The Palm – Atlantic City

2801 Pacific Ave. #102, Atlantic City // +16093447256

The Palm Restaurant Atlantic City is known as a popular dining spot with both seasonal visitors and local residents in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

The Palm is best known for its genuine hospitality and a signature menu featuring fresh seafood, USDA prime steaks, huge Nova Scotia lobsters, Italian classics, and jumbo lump crab cakes. 

Best Restaurants In Atlantic City: Steak

Their philosophy is simple at The Palm: “Treat guests like family, serve great food, and always exceed expectations.” And I really love it!

Summary Of The 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Atlantic City

Atlantic City offers a wide variety of restaurants, both inside and outside the many casinos, so that visitors with virtually any taste in food will find a great place to eat. 

You’ll find many romantic restaurants that offer extensive wine lists, chef-driven menus, and an intimate atmosphere.

In the decades that have passed, Atlantic City, New Jersey, has experienced ups and downs in popularity. 

But whatever the tide brings, there will never be a shortage of good eats on the boardwalk and off it at this Jersey Shore destination, no matter how much new development occurs.


Which of these Atlantic City restaurants will you try first? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Arnell

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Kelsey's is the greatest! It may have a long line and a long wait but it's worth it believe me!

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